READING LOLITA IN TEHRAN: A MEMOIR IN BOOKS (2003) In the Islamic Republic of Iran, where a stray lock of hair or socks of an immodest color can lead to a woman's detention, one… 2003-03-25 Fiction
Book Review

READING LOLITA IN TEHRAN: A MEMOIR IN BOOKS (2003)

Details Release Date: Mar 25, 2003; Writer: Azar Nafisi; Genre: Fiction

In the Islamic Republic of Iran, where a stray lock of hair or socks of an immodest color can lead to a woman's detention, one brave literature professor handpicked seven female students for weekly discussions of forbidden Western classics. In her vivid memoir, Professor Nafisi artfully intertwines her own coming-of-age in prerevolutionary Tehran with the daily frustrations of her pupils. Although long quotes from lectures and familiar books bog down her narrative, Nafisi relates her girls' moving stories with quiet sympathy. As her passion for reading infects them, the young women begin thinking of themselves, subversively, as individuals -- despite a life spent hidden under anonymous black robes and head scarves.

Originally posted Apr 11, 2003 Published in issue #704 Apr 11, 2003 Order article reprints